Let’s get real for a minute, crime rates are scary. They make it hard to deny when you’re in a part of town that’s a little rough around the edges. You can usually avoid those areas when traveling for vacation; however, when you’re a full-time traveler, sometimes circumstances take you places you probably wouldn’t go otherwise. That’s exactly what happened on my second day of full-time RVing.
My partner and I picked up our new RV in Las Vegas and had to make a stop in Los Angeles to wrap up some things prior to officially hitting the road. The only problem: there was nowhere to park an RV in the specific area we needed to be in. As I’m sure you have heard, traffic in Los Angeles can be intense. So, we had a small vicinity to stay within. Being a total newbie to RVing, I turned to the internet and researched every possibility I could think of
Street parking RVs in LA…No, that’s illegal.
Free overnight parking at the Wal-mart…Nope, also not allowed.
Cabela’s, Camping World, anything…Yes! I found a website that lists casinos in the US that allow overnight parking for RVs, and a bonus is that most of them let you park for free. There is an old horse racing casino in Inglewood, perfectly central to where we had to be, and they allow RVs to park for free.
Word to the wise, don’t count on everything on the internet being true. We arrived at the casino to see clearly posted signs saying you will be towed if you park overnight. My heart sank for a minute, I didn’t have a backup plan! I just trusted that all would work out and I would find something else if needed. I stayed with the RV while my partner went in to ask about overnight parking. It felt like an eternity waiting to hear the verdict. Finally, he returned with a PARKING PERMIT in hand!! What a relief. *Huge exhale*
That was just the beginning… For the next five days, I lived in my brand new RV in that siren-filled, inner city casino parking lot. The landing path for LAX crossed right overhead, so there was an almost constant roar of jet engines. The casino was buzzing with people day and night, including somebody who really liked doing donuts in the lot. There were ambulance and police sirens racing by, what seemed like every few minutes. Despite all of that, I was happy, blissfully happy! I spent my days meditating, unpacking boxes, and organizing our new home. The parking lot didn’t have wifi, electric, sewer, or water hookups so I really didn’t have anything to distract me from my tasks at hand.
Could all of that external noise have been a distraction? Yes. For a lot of people, that’s why they don’t like city living. This casino parking lot taught me that the external noise mirrors your internal noise. By creating peace in my space and quieting my mind, the external noise didn’t even phase me.
Little did I know, the lessons don’t stop there. After hitting the road to our next destination, my partner told me about the crime rates for our casino spot in Inglewood. To give you an idea:
- Overall, the crime rate in Inglewood is considerably higher than the national average.
- The crime rate is higher than 80% of the cities in California.
- The violent crime rate is one of the highest in the nation. (Violent crime includes rape, murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault, and assault with a deadly weapon.)
- In comparison to cities of all sizes across the US, Inglewood has one of the higher murder rates in the nation.
That came as a shock to me. First of all, ignorance is truly bliss, which is why my partner waited to tell me until we left. I didn’t know we were in a sketchy part of town, and I’m glad that I didn’t. If I had known those crime rates, I would have had to work a lot harder at quieting my mind to create peace in my space. Fear would have crept in, or thoughts about what could happen while alone in the RV when my partner left to run errands. I have always had a very active imagination, so add in the possibility of murder and armed robbery, and I could have gotten carried away.
Second, I realized that my experience is not defined by my location—or even by FBI crime rates. Every single person I crossed paths with in the casino was awesome! The customers were nice, security guards were super friendly, and nobody ever bothered us in the parking lot. Hardly anybody even parked within five spots of our RV for the whole time we were there. Running errands, getting vehicle maintenance, and visiting the local stores all yielded interactions with lovely, helpful people.
I felt this amazing energy because of the simple magic that was happening in my life. As a result of having such a big energy, I was projecting out so much positivity that the only thing that could come into my space was positivity. I got to connect with these beautiful female security guards at the casino; they would stop by the RV to check on me, talk, and share stories. My partner and I even listed our brand new RV mattress for free on Craigslist (because we replaced it with a memory foam one). We got to donate it to this really loving family who was sleeping on the floor because they couldn’t afford to buy a mattress. Everything I did was done with such a positive energy that it just created more of that.
All of these great experiences happened because I had an open mind and positive energy. The energy and the space I hold for myself is directly related to the thoughts that I have. I didn’t have any prejudgments, expectations, or fear. Because of that, I had such a beautifully happy, powerful, and positive energy that created the same in the world around me. I was projecting love out so strongly that I was safe, despite what the crime rates said. Your thoughts truly are powerful enough to create exactly what you expect. Hollywood Park Casino helped show me that no matter where I go, I get to make my own truth. What really defines my life and my experience is the energy I carry. As long as I have that, I’ll be good.